Seated Spinal Twist Pose
Sit on the floor with both legs straight out in front of you. Bend your right knee with the right thigh on the floor, cross your left leg over your right thigh, and place your left foot flat on the floor next to your right knee.
Put your left hand flat on the floor behind you with the arm straight, palm down, fingers pointing away from you. Inhale and turn slightly to the left. Bend your right arm and place your right elbow on the outside of your left knee. Keep your shoulders down. Exhale and twist your spine and push your chest forward to lengthen the spine.
Don't over twist your neck. Keep the twist the full length of the spine for full benefit. Hold. Inhale and return to starting position and repeat on the other side. If this is too difficult, keep your right leg straight and bend left leg over the right leg with the left foot flat on the floor on the outside of the right thigh. Hold the left knee with your right elbow. Place your left hand on the floor behind your back and twist.
Benefits: Gives the spine a nice lateral stretch, increasing spinal elasticity. Also improves side-to-side mobility; decreases backaches and hip pain; contracts and tones the liver, spleen and intestines; reduces abdominal size; improves the nervous system; prevents calcification at the base of the spine; frees the joints.
Seated Forward Bend Pose
Sit erect, legs straight, pelvis tipped forward, feet perpendicular to legs. Inhale. Raise your arms straight ahead. Exhale, stretch forward and down. Keep back straight. Place hands comfortably on legs, whether on knees, calves or ankles. Relax, allowing chest to sink toward thighs without arching your back.
Breathe softly and hold this posture for 4-5 breaths
Benefits: Gives an intense stretch to the entire back, massages the abdominal organs, increases flexibility of the spine, fosters a sense of calm and letting go
Sit on floor with spine erect, knees up and bent, and feet flat on the floor. Hands hold onto the backs of the thighs. Lean backward and balance on the "sitting" bones.
Tips of the toes remain on the floor. Straighten your legs. Straighten your arms alongside your legs, palms facing in. If your back rounds as you straighten your legs, bend your knees slightly. Hold.
Benefits: Tones the abdominal muscles, strengthens the thighs and knees, increases stamina